Author Topic: Uniden BearTracker Mobile Tracking Scanner with GPS Support - Black (BCT15X)  (Read 940 times)

Offline womule

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I'm looking at this scanner, has a lot of cool features and such.  I was thinking of getting a scanner to listen to police traffic, but being nosey isn't enough to justify the expense.

can yall give me some ideas how I could use the police scanner in case of emergency

Offline RitaRose1945

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It looks really cool, and not a bad price.

Have you listened to your local PD, Fire, EMS, etc. with a scanner or online yet?

Often they're scrambled (not the word I want, but it's all I can think of) so you might not be able to pick them up with a scanner anyway.

Offline jerseyboy

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Well, the first obvious one is to listen to emergency response during an emergency.  You will usually be able to pick up the car-to-car channels which are a bit more telling than the car calling back to base. But you get emergency services too so you can measure the amount of resources in use during an emergency.

You will also get the NOAA weather channels with emergency alert decoder and SAME programming so it alerts you when the emergency is in your county.

Being VHF and UHF you also get analog Ham bands if you don't have any other radio to listen to these.

With the GPS unit you should be able to have the frequencies being monitored changing as you drive. Otherwise GPS may not be too useful sitting on your desk.

You can also program GMRS, MURS and any other VHF/UHF freqs like FRS, Marine, etc.

You can also get federal freqs. Also airport freqs if it covers AM.

You also get to spend many , many hours listening instead of doing things around the house/homestead. 

I keep mine on in the bedroom.  The wife says it actually comforts her to know the police are out there. Probably not the usual response though.

Jerseyboy

PS.  I don't have this model. I have the Home Patrol 2.


Offline womule

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During Hurricane Matthew, I was watching TV, broadcast radio, NOAA, and getting information online.  after a few hours I realized these sources all gave me the same information.   I was thinking how much I would like to hear what local authorities and emergency services where seeing.  also, the is a minor military presence that I would like to eves drop.

didn't know if the scanners were really worth while in this regard

Offline RitaRose1945

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Police scanners (assuming you can actually listen in your area - you can't in mine) are really cool.

I grew up with my dad listening to one, and he even heard something I was involved in one night, though he didn't know I had anything to do with it.  Years and years ago, when I was in my 20s.

I was driving home one night, racing a little with the cute guy next to me, when a guy ran out of nowhere and I hit him with my car.  Then he disappeared.  I pulled over, the guys pulled over, then a bunch of people in leather and chains came running toward me off a side street.  They asked if I had hit the guy, I said yes, they told me I had better get the hell out of there.  So I did.

Then I got to thinking that the penalties were always worse if they had to track you down, and I didn't really do anything wrong, so I came back.  There were now seven police cars from two cities, and I figured I was screwed.  Told the cop anyway, and when I told him I thought I hit the guy pretty hard, he said "Good!"  Turns out he had stolen a cop's baton and that's why he was running across the street.  Then the cop took my ID, and told me to just go home and not worry about it.

I came home, and my parents are in the living room listening to the scanner.  "Oh. glad you're home.  There are some wild parties out there right now, and one where the guy stole a police baton and then got hit by a driver!"

Um... yeah.

Offline Mr. Bill

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In our area, brush fires are the most common local emergency.  I've found our scanner very useful (and comforting) during fire season.  On a really bad day (windstorm, lightning, or 4th of July), I just leave it turned on, programmed to stay silent until it recognizes the toneouts from the 3 fire stations nearest to us.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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It looks really cool, and not a bad price.

Have you listened to your local PD, Fire, EMS, etc. with a scanner or online yet?

Often they're scrambled (not the word I want, but it's all I can think of) so you might not be able to pick them up with a scanner anyway.

The encoding is not done to prevent eaves droppers, though some LEO agencies may see that as secondary benefit.

The encoding is done to allow digital voice, which occupies less frequencies bandwidth.  The practical advantage is multiple, concurrent voice conversations can take place on a space that previously only one conversation would fit.

Most of the "trunked" systems work a little like old school telephone switchboards, but the conversation can dynamically hop between circuits.  As a listener on a scanner (this applies to analog too) you may only hear a short portion unless your scanner understands how to change frequencies automatically to keep up

For normal "grid-up" scenarios, broadcastify.com has many emergency agencies broadcasted.  Unless you do like JerseyBoy and invest in a Home Patrol, or do it the hard ware with custom software and several RTL-SDR usb dongles, an entry level scanner is not as useful as it once was.

Offline RitaRose1945

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The encoding is not done to prevent eaves droppers, though some LEO agencies may see that as secondary benefit.

The encoding is done to allow digital voice, which occupies less frequencies bandwidth.  The practical advantage is multiple, concurrent voice conversations can take place on a space that previously only one conversation would fit.

Most of the "trunked" systems work a little like old school telephone switchboards, but the conversation can dynamically hop between circuits.  As a listener on a scanner (this applies to analog too) you may only hear a short portion unless your scanner understands how to change frequencies automatically to keep up

For normal "grid-up" scenarios, broadcastify.com has many emergency agencies broadcasted.  Unless you do like JerseyBoy and invest in a Home Patrol, or do it the hard ware with custom software and several RTL-SDR usb dongles, an entry level scanner is not as useful as it once was.

Now that I didn't know.  I thought the primary purpose was to keep the bad guys from knowing what the good guys were doing.  Thanks!

Unfortunately, I can't get my PD on Broadcastify, but I can get the highway patrol, which is often where the big stuff leads anyway.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Now that I didn't know.  I thought the primary purpose was to keep the bad guys from knowing what the good guys were doing.  Thanks!

Unfortunately, I can't get my PD on Broadcastify, but I can get the highway patrol, which is often where the big stuff leads anyway.

It's a labor of geeky love to setup a digital scanner and broadcast to the internet.  Aside from the scanner, the broadcast/stream portion can be done for $50 using a raspberryPi, a $5 chinese sound card and the right arrangement of audio cables.  It's no surprise smaller towns or less popular areas don't have these.  People on the internet want to hear ACTION.  That's why LAPD, Chicago and other metro areas with tension and high crime get implemented first.

I will likely do it using conventional analog FM to start - just to prove out the concept.  Maybe broadcast the local community college security channel. They actually have an impressive GMRS repeater I can hear 15 miles away.  You can get creative and broadcast two separate channels on a stereo sound card (channel #1 on Left, channel #2 on right).  So if you have a pile of receiving radios or scanners, that's the only expensive part.

Offline RitaRose1945

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It's a labor of geeky love to setup a digital scanner and broadcast to the internet.  Aside from the scanner, the broadcast/stream portion can be done for $50 using a raspberryPi, a $5 chinese sound card and the right arrangement of audio cables.  It's no surprise smaller towns or less popular areas don't have these.  People on the internet want to hear ACTION.  That's why LAPD, Chicago and other metro areas with tension and high crime get implemented first.

I will likely do it using conventional analog FM to start - just to prove out the concept.  Maybe broadcast the local community college security channel. They actually have an impressive GMRS repeater I can hear 15 miles away.  You can get creative and broadcast two separate channels on a stereo sound card (channel #1 on Left, channel #2 on right).  So if you have a pile of receiving radios or scanners, that's the only expensive part.

That's really interesting.

Offline womule

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The encoding is not done to prevent eaves droppers, though some LEO agencies may see that as secondary benefit.

The encoding is done to allow digital voice, which occupies less frequencies bandwidth.  The practical advantage is multiple, concurrent voice conversations can take place on a space that previously only one conversation would fit.

Most of the "trunked" systems work a little like old school telephone switchboards, but the conversation can dynamically hop between circuits.  As a listener on a scanner (this applies to analog too) you may only hear a short portion unless your scanner understands how to change frequencies automatically to keep up

For normal "grid-up" scenarios, broadcastify.com has many emergency agencies broadcasted.  Unless you do like JerseyBoy and invest in a Home Patrol, or do it the hard ware with custom software and several RTL-SDR usb dongles, an entry level scanner is not as useful as it once was.

so, considering the above, what would be an effective way for an individual to eves drop during a grid down scenario?

My area is a densely populated and I don't know many people. having a good source of information during an emergency is an invaluable asset.  I was hoping a scanner would allow me to listen in on the authorities and emergency services so I can make informed decisions.

do you think it would be worth while to listen in on the local amateur community?  many of them are involved in local services if not directly connected to them. 

Offline Chemsoldier

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Encoding could be used to describe turning the speech into a format that can travel over the airwaves.  The use of electronic means to make the transmission unintelligible is called encryption.  You can decode that which you figure out how to (except for cell phone transmissions and probably other exceptions I cannot recall).  As far as I am aware you are not allowed to decrypt encrypted transmissions, though I could be wrong and it could be illegal to decrypt the transmissions of certain entities.  I would have to look it up.
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Offline Sailor

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My local PD is digital, but have since added encryption.  My uniden home patrol is a little less useful now.  You can still get useful data by monitoring local fire and ambulance but its not really the same. 

Of course the local media has been supplied key codes (change monthly) because they have a legit reason to listen and report.  The public is out of luck. 

I get encryption on swat/drug task groups etc.  But for the rest of it, we are paying for it we should be able to listen to it.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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I'm unsure if it's policy or just in practice, but most cities in my county have digital encoded voice for their police.  That covers the regular old dispatch form 911 call centers etc.   In the event of a house raid by SWAT or other tactical element, they actually use encryption.  So when the DEA is about to breach a drug cartel safe house, don't expect your Uniden Home Patrol to work  ;)

That all said, the WA state patrol is plain old analog FM (155mhz?) across the state, and a 1970s scanner will work perfectly.  I think the situation is going to vary considerably for each location.

Online Alan Georges

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With this ongoing rise of encryption, trunking, digital, and all the other funky modes for emergency services radios, sooner or later all we're going to be able to listen in on are the rarely used interoperability frequencies.  In a way, this suits my needs well enough.  I'm not so concerned with the daily cop chatter, it's the post-disaster times (usually a hurricane around here) when I really want a scanner, and that's when out-of-town groups like the National Guard and police from other states come in.  If all these groups want to talk to each other, it's going to be on the FM UHF frequencies listed in the National Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG), and a cheap Baofeng will scan those just fine.  Throw in the few remaining car-to-car etc. frequencies (find'em here: http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/), and you've got a pretty decent capability. 

Just be damn sure to lock out the transmit when you program it up with Chirp.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline jerseyboy

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The encoding is not done to prevent eaves droppers, though some LEO agencies may see that as secondary benefit.

The encoding is done to allow digital voice, which occupies less frequencies bandwidth.  The practical advantage is multiple, concurrent voice conversations can take place on a space that previously only one conversation would fit.

Most of the "trunked" systems work a little like old school telephone switchboards, but the conversation can dynamically hop between circuits.  As a listener on a scanner (this applies to analog too) you may only hear a short portion unless your scanner understands how to change frequencies automatically to keep up

For normal "grid-up" scenarios, broadcastify.com has many emergency agencies broadcasted.  Unless you do like JerseyBoy and invest in a Home Patrol, or do it the hard ware with custom software and several RTL-SDR usb dongles, an entry level scanner is not as useful as it once was.

The modern trunking radios use Project 25 (P25).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_25

There is Phase 1 and Phase 2.  The Uniden Home Patrol does Phase 1 and the Uniden Home  Patrol 2 does Phase 2.

The digital voice encoding for Phase 1 and Phase 2 enable multiple digital signals where one analog voice used to go. The usage or  pooling of multiple frequencies allow for high traffic times in one area to use the frequencies which used to be dedicated to another area. It is a resource issue and a clever way of using otherwise underused bandwidth.

If you have only Phase 1 in your area, the Home Patrol 1 can be found at a good discount on eBay.

Jerseyboy